Feb. 9, 2010
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. - Senior guard Kelvin Lewis hit two free throws with 0.5 seconds remaining to cap a wild ending and lift the University of Houston men's basketball team to a 74-72 win against Western Kentucky on Tuesday night inside E.A. Diddle Arena.
Playing for the final shot with the score tied at 72-72, Cougar senior guard Aubrey Coleman missed a 3-pointer. Junior guard Adam Brown rebounded the miss, and WKU forward Sergio Kerusch was whistled for a foul with only 0.5 seconds left in the contest.
After a technical foul was called on the WKU bench for violently protesting the call, Lewis nailed both free throws to give the Cougars a 74-72 lead. Brown then missed the front end of a 1-and-1, and officials awarded WKU with a timeout with only 0.3 seconds left in the contest.
Inbounding from under its own goal, a WKU length-of-the-court pass was tipped away by Brown, giving the Cougars the win.
Playing all 40 minutes, Coleman led all players with 29 points and 13 rebounds for his sixth double-double of the season and the 20th of his career. Junior forward Maurice McNeil finished with 12 points and eight rebounds, while Lewis added 11 points and buried all four free throws in the win.
With the win, the Cougars improved to 12-11 overall and won their third straight game against the Hilltoppers. Western Kentucky dropped to 13-12 overall.
Kerusch came off the bench to lead the Hilltoppers with 19 points, while forward Steffphon Pettigrew posted 18 points but only two in the second half. Slaughter posted 17 points with a game-high six assists in the loss.
The game went back and forth all night and featured 13 ties and nine lead changes. The Hilltoppers raced out to a 40-33 halftime lead after connecting on 46.2 percent of their shots from the field.
In the second half, the Cougars scored nine of the final frame's first 11 points to knot the game at 42-42 with 15:19 remaining in the contest. WKU regained a 53-51 lead on Jeremy Evans' tip-in, but the Cougars scored the next nine points and held a 60-53 advantage when Brown nailed a jumper with 8:34 remaining.
The lead did not last long as the Hilltoppers rattled off 11 of the next 14 points for a 64-63 lead with 4:54 to go.
Lewis nailed a 3-pointer and followed that with a pair of free throws for a 68-64 lead, but the Hilltoppers scored the next four points to tie the game at 68-68 with 3:06 left.
Following a pair of missed WKU free throws, Coleman buried a jumper and then nailed another basket after a WKU turnover for a 72-68 Houston lead with only 83 seconds left in the contest.
After WKU's Caden Dickerson hit a pair of free throws with 1:02 left to pull the Hilltoppers to within 72-70, Coleman missed a jumper with 30 seconds left. Brown rebounded the miss to give the Cougars the ball with less than 35 seconds remaining, but A.J. Slaughter intercepted a pass and raced the length of the court to tie the game with 21 seconds to go.
Coleman and the Cougars worked the game clock down before lifting the 3-point attempt that was rebounded by Brown and set up the final second.
The Cougars return to action at 4 p.m., Saturday, when they play host to Conference USA-rival SMU inside Hofheinz Pavilion.
The game can be heard live on SportsTalk 790 AM or on the Internet at UHCougars.com with Tom Franklin calling the play-by-play action. The pregame show is slated to begin at 3:45 p.m.
Fans can purchase men's basketball tickets online at UHCougars.com by clicking the Tickets link, by calling 713-GO-COOGS (462-6647) or by visiting the Athletics Ticket Office on the first floor of the Athletics/Alumni Center from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Single-game tickets and a variety of packages also are available now and can be purchased for as low as $35.
The radio show airs live from 7 to 8 p.m. on Thursdays for the remainder of the season. The next edition of The Pulse with Tom Penders will broadcast live on Thursday, Feb. 11, from Ragin Cajun (9600 Westheimer, Suite 80, Houston, 77063).
The show can be heard live on SportsTalk 790 AM or on the Internet at UHCougars.com and will be hosted by the "Voice of the Cougars" Tom Franklin.
Fans are invited to join Penders and Franklin at the selected restaurant each week as the duo discusses recent Cougar Basketball action and upcoming games, college basketball, the world of sports and much more.
Fans also can click the "Ask Coach Penders" button on the main page at UHCougars.com to submit a question that could be asked on the show.
Following the Feb. 11 show, fans can join the next edition of The Pulse with Tom Penders at Chili's Too (4800 Calhoun) on the UH campus on Feb. 18.
* With Tuesday's win, head coach Tom Penders moved into a tie for 25th place in NCAA Division I career history with 641 victories... Penders moved into a tie with Billy Tubbs, who recorded 641 wins at Southwestern, Oklahoma, TCU and Lamar from 1972 to 2006 and with active head coach Gary Williams, who has posted 641 wins at American, Boston College, Ohio State and currently Maryland since 1979.
* Senior guard Aubrey Coleman recorded his 20th 20-point game of the 2009-10 season and the 36th 20-point game of his career... It also was his 11th straight 20-point game in 2009-10.
* Senior guard Aubrey Coleman played every minute in a game for the third time in 2009-10 and the eighth time during his career.
* With 29 points, senior guard Aubrey Coleman moved into 25th place in Houston career history with 1,218 points... Up next in the Houston records book is Ollie Taylor, who scored 1,231 points from 1968 to 1970.
* Senior guard Kelvin Lewis competed in his 86th consecutive game and made his 59th straight start... Both streaks are the longest among active Cougar players.
* Freshman forward Kendrick Washington posted a career-high six rebounds for the second straight game.